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NextHome expands in Virginia

NextHome expands in Virginia

Curtis Siever

Pleasanton, CA — July 30, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the expansion of NextHome Realty Select in Staunton, Virginia. NextHome Realty Select – Staunton will serve clients across the Shenandoah Valley, with a focus on the growing Staunton-Waynesboro Metropolitan Statistical Area. 

The brokerage represents the 14th office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise and the 496th NextHome office opened nationally.

Owned by real estate veteran Curtis Siever, the Staunton office builds on the success of his series of Virginia and West Virginia-based NextHome offices; Winchester, Woodstock, Front Royal, and Martinsburg.

The expansion into Staunton was truly an organic situation. 

“I was approached by an agent who worked in that market who was really excited about the NextHome brand, its culture, and what it could do for her clients,” Curtis said. “In turn, she had a friend in the profession who also wanted to come aboard with her.”

Today, NextHome Realty Select – Staunton is poised for success with professional agents Lisa Belcher and Lori Bonnell leading the way.

Lisa and Lori are working from the brokerage’s charming new downtown offices, and they are already experiencing the NextHome difference.  

“We are truly growing in that area,” Curtis said.

Curtis has been a NextHome owner/broker since the Fall of 2016 when he opened NextHome Realty Select’s Winchester offices. Today, he is the owner of five brokerages across Virginia and West Virginia.

Since embarking on a career with NextHome, Curtis has enjoyed phenomenal success. In 2019, his three locations were able to close more than 240 transactions and reach $50.5 million in sales volume. Although impressive, these numbers represent an even larger accomplishment for Curtis and all the agents at NextHome Realty Select, they were able to increase their business by 62% year over year. 

Curtis has been working in real estate for more than 26 years. Originally from Front Royal, he was licensed in 1994 and started his career with Weichert Realtors. Curtis’s brother, Terry, was the owner of a successful real estate construction business. Blue Ridge Construction created beautiful homes but needed someone to market and sell these properties. Curtis was the perfect person to provide that service.

The early years of his career were spent selling homes in the Front Royal and Linden areas to many clients moving from the Northern Virginia and D.C. area. Curtis also had a desire to build new construction homes and managed a construction company from 2003 to 2008, building 35 new homes.

Over the next two decades, Curtis leveraged his new construction sales background to create an incredibly successful real estate sales career. Averaging over 40 transactions yearly, he consistently ranks as one of the top producers in his area.

In early 2016, Curtis felt it was the right time to open his own brokerage. He attained his broker’s license and began looking for a franchise that would best help him deliver services and technology to his brokerage.

“I found NextHome through a simple Google search,” Curtis recalled. “I was hooked on the website and found myself researching the company pretty thoroughly before reaching out to (NextHome’s Vice President of Sales) Charis Moreno.”

Over the years, the partnership has proven to be a great one for many reasons. 

Through the franchise, Curtis has been able to pursue his passion for mentoring and teaching by becoming a NextHome Certified Instructor. This certification allows Curtis to teach National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) courses. 

“I am so happy that NextHome Realty Select continues to grow and thrive,” Curtis said. “We hope to continue to attract top-tier agents to our brokerage.”

When not selling real estate, Curtis enjoys spending time with his wife, Donna. The couple enjoys traveling and spending time with Curtis’s daughter, Amanda.

Please join us in congratulating Curtis and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Select on their fifth NextHome location in Staunton, Virginia!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new Baltimore area office

NextHome announces new Baltimore area office

Sherri Sembly and Nisha Smithrick

Pleasanton, CA — July 9, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Forward, serving the Baltimore, Maryland area. The brokerage represents the ninth office location opened in Maryland for the NextHome franchise and the 491st NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Forward will serve clients across the greater Baltimore area including Harford, Cecil, Anne Arundel, and Howard counties.

Under the leadership of owners Nisha Smithrick and Sherri Sembly, NextHome Forward is well-positioned to serve all types of residential clients including investors, first-time home buyers, and military families. The brokerage also offers experience in short sales and REO properties. 

“I look forward to growing the business and being known as a company that will do the right thing for the clients we serve,” Sherri said. 

Nisha will be NextHome Forward’s broker of record and Sherri will be the office’s sales manager. Both will be maintaining their thriving sales careers. Between them, Sherri and Nisha offer clients almost 20 years of experience in Baltimore real estate. 

Nisha obtained her Maryland license in 2006 and sold with a nationally franchised office until 2010, when she joined Redfin. For the next seven years, Nisha gained experience in almost all aspects of real estate sales. She worked as a field agent and as a transaction coordinator. 

“I got to work behind the scenes with some of the highest producing agents in our region,” Nisha said. “There were incredible advantages to seeing a large volume of transactions coming through.”

Nisha learned contracts inside and out and became skilled at interpreting and explaining the complexity of the contract. 

“There were lots of moving parts,” Nisha recalled. “I learned everything – from contract to closing.”

Sherri began her real estate career in 2014 after spending 17 years in early childhood education. Her attraction to real estate sales started when she sold her townhome.

“I started touring homes and having a lot of fun,” Sherri recalled. “I liked the company I was working with, so I applied for a job.”

Sherri started working with Redfin as a tour coordinator, which is where she eventually met Nisha. 

In 2016, Sherri left Redfin to join a nationally franchised brokerage. 

“I wanted to learn more, to be out in the field to grow,” Sherri said.

A year later, Nisha joined Sherri at that brokerage and they continued to each grow their individual businesses for the next two and a half years.   

However, as the friends continued to evolve professionally, they knew it was time to open their own brokerage. 

“It was time because we wanted to grow and be the best versions of ourselves,” Nisha said.

Several former colleagues had posted about NextHome on their social media platforms and all the positive things they were saying caught Nisha and Sherri’s attention. 

“So, one day I decided to just give them a call,” Nisha said. “NextHome had everything that we loved about our previous work experience, but also so much more. It was a natural progression for us.”

Today, Nisha and Sherri are using NextHome to put the goodness, value, and personal touch back in Baltimore real estate. 

“NextHome is all about the people we serve and the hands we hold,” Sherri said. “We want to embody that kind of value and put the goodness in real estate.” 

With their extensive transaction coordination backgrounds, Sherri and Nisha want to help NextHome Forward agents achieve their highest potential. 

“We want to invest in our agents and recruit the right people,” Nisha said. “We will be by their side, giving them the office support, the technology, and tools to succeed. Our agents will know that we focus on them, so they can focus on their clients.”

This year, Nisha will celebrate seven years of marriage to her husband Craig and together they are the proud parents of eight-year-old CJ. Together, the family loves to travel and introduce their son to the wonders of the world. 

Sherri and her husband Charles recently celebrated 17 years of marriage and together they have two children, Charles Anthony (15) and Selena (13). The family enjoys supporting Charles Anthony as he plays year-round soccer and savoring the products of Selena’s baking talents. 

Please join us in congratulating Nisha and Sherri on the opening of NextHome Forward!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome Estates Realty Group opens in Orange County

NextHome Estates Realty Group opens in Orange County

Tom McKenzie

Pleasanton, CA — July 7, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Estates Realty Group, based in Los Alamitos, California. The brokerage represents the 74th office location opened in California for the NextHome franchise and the 489th NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Estates Realty Group will serve clients across Orange County and Los Angeles County including Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Seal Beach, Cypress, Long Beach, Buena Park, Anaheim, Lakewood, and Huntington Beach. 

NextHome Estates Realty Group is owned by local attorney Tom McKenzie, who brings extensive experience to the new brokerage. Tom has been a practicing attorney and licensed broker for more than 20 years, specializing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, asset protection, and elder law. In addition, Tom has been a licensed financial advisor since 1995 and holds 10 different real estate certifications and designations.

Tom’s remarkable life included an early stint as a singer/songwriter. His talents helped him pay his way through law school – working as a full-time entertainer at night and excelling in his legal studies as a full-time student during the day. While attending Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, Tom was the only member of his class to receive the “American Jurisprudence Award” for real estate law. During these years, Tom was extended an invitation to serve as the associate editor of his school’s prestigious law review publication, and his article on Historically Black Colleges has been cited in a number of books and legal journals, including the book “Unearthing Promise and Potential: Our Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” by Marybeth Gasman. 

Tom obtained his broker’s license in 1998 and, after graduating among the top of his law school class, opened McKenzie Legal and Financial. 

Throughout his career, Tom often worked with legal and financial planning clients who needed real estate services. Their needs prompted Tom to think about opening his own brokerage. To gain a better understanding of the industry in the area, Tom first began selling with a nationally franchised brokerage. He quickly learned what he did, and what he did not want to do, to best serve his clients. 

“I saw the opportunity to offer true, ethical representation for buyers and sellers that currently weren’t being well represented,” Tom said. “I wanted to be able to provide agents who embrace the highest levels of integrity and put the clients first.”

As a dedicated professional for both his legal and real estate clients, Tom knew he would have to partner with a robust and supportive franchise in order to not spread himself too thin. That’s when he discovered NextHome in REALTOR® Magazine. 

“When I read the article, NextHome was exactly what I was looking for so that I could truly help my clients,” Tom said. “Throughout the process of being affiliated with NextHome, I have not been disappointed. I have been very happy with the corporate staff, the support they give, and the educational assistance.”

Now, as a brokerage owner and attorney, Tom is uniquely qualified to help clients with a broad range of needs. 

“I can offer perspectives and advice that can only be given by a licensed attorney, helping clients avoid pitfalls and seize opportunities they might not have even known existed,” Tom said. 

From putting properties straight into trusts, to helping investors with LLCs, to legal review and notary services, Tom can help with it all. 

“I want to provide convenient, low-pressure options for my clients and help them know that they are in safe hands from the beginning of their transaction to closing and beyond,” Tom said. 

Tom’s wife Natalie will be joining him at NextHome Estates Realty Group as the brokerage’s office manager. She is also a paralegal and notary public. 

Tom and Natalie recently celebrated 19 years of wedded bliss and together they are the proud parents of four children. 

Macy (18) recently graduated from Los Alamitos High School. For most of her academic career, Macy performed with the school’s prestigious Sound FX advanced mixed choir group. The choir is recognized as one of the nation’s best and members have performed at The Hollywood Bowl with Kristen Bell, Nick Jonas and John Stamos, and at the Greek Theater with Barry Manilow. Last year, they hosted the world’s largest assembly with the “Mean Stink’s” anti-bullying campaign and were featured performers on the Today Show.

Ryan (17) is both academically and mechanically talented and, according to his dad, has the biggest heart in his family.

Cody (12) is a high achiever in math and Noah (10) is a standout football player. 

“My family is truly my greatest joy,” Tom said. 

Please join us in congratulating Tom on the opening of NextHome Estates Realty Group in Los Alamitos, California!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new Charlotte-area brokerage

NextHome announces new Charlotte-area brokerage

Rhonda Rivers

Pleasanton, CA — July 2, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Rivers Realty, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brokerage represents the 24th office location opened in North Carolina for the NextHome franchise and the 488th NextHome office opened nationally.

The brokerage will serve residential clients across the greater Charlotte area including Gaston, Union, and Cabarrus counties. NextHome Rivers Realty is also poised to provide excellent service in South Carolina throughout Lancaster and York counties. 

NextHome Rivers Realty is owned by Rhonda Rivers, a 17-year veteran of Charlotte-area real estate who has a passion for community relationships and offers excellent customer service. Under her leadership, NextHome Rivers Realty provides expertise in investment properties, corporate relocations, retirement properties, first-time home buying, and numerous other subsets of residential real estate. 

Rhonda began her career in 2003 with a small boutique brokerage. As her business grew, she joined Wilkinson ERA Real Estate where she remained for the next 12 years. Throughout her years with the regional firm, Rhonda became uniquely skilled at helping corporate clients with relocations. 

In 2018, Rhonda joined a local NextHome office as a Broker-Associate. As she delved into all NextHome had to offer, Rhonda fell in love with the franchise’s marketing and technology. She also spent several years developing deep relationships with investment buyers, many of whom return time and again.

“I have enjoyed great relationships over the years and sold many homes for investors, but many have never met me in person,” Rhonda said. “That’s the type of trust we have built and the type of relationships we have with our clients. I really pride myself on helping clients feel comfortable with my level of knowledge and experience in the area.” 

After getting to know NextHome’s systems and support, Rhonda knew that throughout her career she would remain with the NextHome brand – come what may. 

Then, in 2019, when her NextHome Broker-in-charge needed to relocate across the country, Rhonda jumped at the opportunity to open and own her own brokerage.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to stay with NextHome and I didn’t want to work with another company,” Rhonda said. “I had a positive experience. I knew as an agent how responsive the corporate team was and my broker spoke very highly of it. I knew that in order to make my career as a Broker/Owner successful, I would need those resources and systems in place so I could focus on the excellent service I provide my clients. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Today, NextHome Rivers Realty is continuing Rhonda’s legacy of excellence. 

“This gives me an opportunity to develop a team and provide support to other agents as I continue to build this company,” Rhonda said. “There is something really special about this franchise.”

In her role as a business owner and mentor, Rhonda is incorporating her background in education. Rhonda holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in leadership. Her career in education not only gives her valuable skills that can help agents with professional development, but also keeps her connected to Charlotte’s area school districts. 

“I spend a lot of time as a mother of three understanding our school system and volunteering,” Rhonda said. “I’m able to provide that knowledgeable perspective.” 

Rhonda is the president of the Athletics Booster Club and is a strong advocate for programs that support children and families across North Carolina. 

Through both her professional life and her volunteer work, Rhonda is passionate about helping others achieve their dreams.  

“Regardless of what the market looks like and what their needs are, it is always my greatest honor to help people find a home that represents who they are and where they want to live,” Rhonda said. “I am so fortunate to work in an industry that values relationship building, and I truly enjoy those deep relationships throughout the community.”

Rhonda has been married to her husband Craig for 25 years and together they have three children; Caylee (20), Kendall (17), and Preston (12). Rhonda and Craig enjoy cheering each of their children on as they excel in lacrosse, golf, and baseball.

Please join us in congratulating Rhonda on the opening of NextHome Rivers Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces newest brokerage in Minnesota

NextHome announces newest brokerage in Minnesota

Enrique Ramos

Pleasanton, CA — June 26, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Elhm Realty, based in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. The brokerage represents the fourth office location opened in Minnesota for the NextHome franchise and the 487th NextHome office opened nationally.

Conveniently located between St. Paul and Minneapolis, NextHome Elhm Realty will serve clients across Washington, Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin, and Carver counties. 

This bi-lingual brokerage will serve both English and Spanish speaking clients and offers expertise in all types of residential real estate.

NextHome Elhm Realty is owned by IT professional and local REALTOR® Enrique Ramos. The unique brokerage name pays tribute to Enrique’s family and reflects his family-centered professional values. Elhm combines all the initials of Enrique’s family members: Enrique, his wife Lisa, and children Harlo and Melia. Lisa is also a licensed real estate agent and will be handling day-to-day operations and training at NextHome Elhm Realty.    

Enrique spent more than 10 years in the technology industry before obtaining his real estate license in 2015. He then worked with boutique brokerages, sharpening his skills in investment real estate and relocations. 

Enrique credits his background and upbringing for his entrepreneurial spirit. Born in an impoverished part of Honduras, Enrique was raised in New York City and earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration in Wisconsin. 

“The empowerment that I feel from working hard and creating a legacy for my kids is why I do what I do,” Enrique said.

In 2019, Enrique used his passion for real estate sales to open his own independent brokerage. 

However, he soon discovered that he was spending all his time developing back-end systems and missing valuable opportunities to grow his business and build relationships with clients, agents, and community leaders. 

“I was spending too much time building systems and not enough time growing,” Enrique recalled. “The type of connections we make with agents and customers is really important. It needs to be more than just saying hi and bye, but really getting to know people.”

After speaking with several people at various franchises, Enrique knew that NextHome was the direction he wanted to go. 

“At first I was impressed with the technology NextHome offered,” Enrique said. “Plus, the website looked great, but what really helped me make the right decision was my conversation with Charis Moreno (NextHome’s VP of Sales). I knew then what NextHome stood for, what it could offer me, and how we could grow together.”

Today, Enrique is building a full-service brokerage with superior technology tools.

“We are here to offer personalized help from beginning to end, with every single step of the home buying process,” Enrique said. “We truly believe in the principle of Humans over Houses.”

Enrique currently serves on the Board of Directors for the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® (SPAAR). In addition, the Ramos family hosts an annual volleyball tournament to raise money for breast cancer awareness organizations. The cause is dear to their hearts after losing Lisa’s mother, Charlotte Jonas, to breast cancer seven years ago. 

Lisa and Enrique have been married for eight years and they are the proud parents of two young children: Harlo and Melia. Together, the family enjoys cooking and traveling. 

Please join us in congratulating Enrique, Lisa, and the entire team at NextHome Elhm Realty on the opening of their office in Cottage Grove, Minnesota!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new Richmond-area office

NextHome announces new Richmond-area office

Susie Hall

Pleasanton, CA — June 25, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Advantage, based in Glen Allen, Virginia. The brokerage represents the 13th office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise and the 486th NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Advantage will serve clients across the greater Richmond metro area in addition to Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Goochland, Chester, and Richmond counties. 

With more than 20 professional associates, each with a unique experience, NextHome Advantage is poised to help all types of residential clients. The brokerage offers expertise in first-time home buying, listings, investment properties, relocations, probate, and working with 55+ communities. 

Leading this outstanding team is 18-year real estate veteran Susie Hall. Susie began her career in 2002 and worked with a large, nationally franchised brand. In 2004, she formed a team and began a career with RE/MAX. Her leadership skills and sales success quickly made her a trusted resource for agents across the area. In 2005, she opened her own brokerage, RE/MAX Today, where she built a fantastic culture and camaraderie. 

“My background is in training and management, so it was a very natural progression,” Susie said. 

Despite opening a real estate brokerage at the dawn of one of the greatest downturns in modern housing market history, Susie endured and even grew her business. 

“I think agents were hesitant at the time to move to a company that was brand new,” Susie recalled. “But after my first year, people realized ‘hey, she’s sticking around for the long term’ and they knew that I was here to stay.”

What started as a seven-agent office quickly grew to more than 20 producing agents by year two. Then, it continued to grow. Susie’s brokerage burst into the top 35 offices in her MLS area and closed more than 400 transactions last year. 

“We really built a business out of my core values: taking care of people, communication, and creating a great workplace culture,” Susie said of the brokerage’s success. 

In early 2020, Susie realized that in order to maintain alignment with her core values she needed to partner with a new franchise. She had heard about NextHome several years prior but became reacquainted with the franchise after friends made glowing remarks in social media groups. 

“There were a lot of NextHome brokers and owners in a real estate Facebook group I was a part of,” Susie said. “I kept seeing the brand mentioned time and time again. So, I reached out to a NextHome owner and she just raved about the company. She connected me with Charis Moreno (NextHome’s VP of Sales) and it was a very fast evolution from there.”

Today, NextHome Advantage offers agents the streamlined tools, marketing, and support to provide clients with a superior buying or selling experience. 

“Over the years, my associates have been promised a lot when it comes to technology and I’ve had to keep saying I’m sorry it’s coming just hold on,” Susie said. “So, when they were able to see all the incredible things NextHome provides there was very tangible renewal, a recharge. I consistently hear ‘this is the fresh start that I didn’t know that I needed.’”

Susie was also attracted to NextHome’s approach to the industry.  

“Everything just clicked,” Susie said. “But one of the first things I read on the website was about how as an industry we need to lift the bar. I just thought, truer words were never spoken. I loved that a company was saying that we need to up our game and serve our clients at a higher level and make it easy for our agents to serve our clients at a higher level.”

In her community, Susie is deeply involved with The Children’s Miracle Network. For the past 10 years, Susie has volunteered and contributed to their cause. A portion of each NextHome Advantage transaction fee goes to the charity and, when she can, Susie and her team love volunteering at the local hospital. 

“To meet these parents and hear everything they’ve gone through and hear how The Children’s Miracle Network has helped them, it just touches your heart at a really deep level,” Susie said. “It is a cause that is very dear to our agents.”

In addition, Susie is a rescue mom of five animals – two dogs and three cats. As such, she is a heartfelt supporter of Canine Companions for Independence and her local animal shelter. 

Susie has been married to her husband Greg for 25 years and together they are the parents of four grown children. Susie’s youngest daughter Caitlin also works with her at NextHome Advantage. 

Please join us in congratulating Susie and the entire team on the opening of NextHome Advantage in Glen Allen, Virginia!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Experts: Spring’s Missing Home Sales Will be Added to Coming Years

Experts: Spring’s Missing Home Sales Will be Added to Coming Years

  • In a survey of 106 economists and real estate experts conducted by Pulsenomics and Zillow, 41% of panelists expect the U.S. recovery will follow a ‘U’ shape, with the recession lasting several quarters before returning to growth.
  • Once the pandemic begins to subside, experts agree, there will be an increase in demand for suburban and rural living.
  • On average, panelists expect home values to decrease 0.3% in 2020, a sharp decline from expected growth of 3.3% when surveyed three months before.

When coronavirus turned the economy upside down, anxiety and uncertainty about the future initially kept many homebuyers and sellers at bay. Inventory and sales have picked up over the past month, though, and a panel of housing experts and economists say the U.S. housing market hasn’t lost those missing springtime transactions for good.

The Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics LLC, asks more than 100 economists, investment strategists and real estate experts for their predictions about the U.S. housing market. The Q2 survey focused on the impact of coronavirus on the market and expected recovery patterns, and also asked for predictions on how the pandemic will shape home-buying decisions in the future.

Coronavirus and subsequent stay-at-home orders resulted in lower-than-expected transaction volume during what was primed to be a busy spring home shopping season. While it was thought the spring buying season could shift to the fall, the pandemic effects are poised to continue into summer and only 10% of the survey panelists said they believe those transactions will materialize later in 2020. More than twice as many experts (22%) said they expect a “double up” during next spring’s shopping season, and the vast majority predicted that recovery will be spread out over the next several years.

ZHPE results, Q2 2020 coronavirus

This prediction is in line with how the experts expect the U.S. economy to recover overall. Forty-one percent said they think economic recovery will follow a ‘U’ shape, and 33% say it will be a bumpy, multi-year return back to trend growth. Both patterns are characterized first by a sharp decline and then match how experts see transaction volume recovering, with the consensus generally being a more gradual journey back to normal.

Prices nationally are now projected to fall 0.3 percent this year according to the panel-wide average forecast — down from an expected increase of 3.3 percent just three months ago.

“This is the first time since 2012 that the panel-wide price outlook has turned negative, and the quarter-to-quarter swing in expectations is the largest we’ve seen in more than a decade,” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics. “Longer term, the outlook for home values nationwide is mixed — price projections for 2022 and beyond actually inched higher from levels recorded prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. However, nearly seven in ten experts now indicate that their five-year forecast has downside risk. Last quarter, fewer than four in ten panelists foresaw downside — of course, that was before the Covid-19 crisis, its economic devastation and unprecedented government response.”

Zillow’s own forecast calls for a 1.8% drop in home prices by October 2020, expecting home prices to return to Q4 2019 levels by the Q3 2021. While predictions on home prices continue to steepen, the outlook on pending home sales continues to become more optimistic, and Zillow now shows sales hit bottom in April with a 44% drop, and are on their way back up, compared to the original forecast of a 60% dip.

Experts’ forecasts on the future of housing vary widely at this early stage of the recovery. Zillow’s own forecast has become more optimistic as we ingest new data and watch pending sales pick up faster than expected. What does seem more consistent in this wisdom of crowds is that full recovery is a couple years away — much faster than in the last housing downturn — and remote work will eventually work its changes on the housing market.

Experts also said that where people choose to live will look a little different once the pandemic subsides. Panelists predict future homebuyers will show more interest in suburban and rural areas, at the expense of urban density. Previous Zillow research has indicated that a future that sees more people working from home could make the suburbs more appealing, and the panelists echoed the likelihood of this demand. Although panelists believe there will be a shift in location preference after coronavirus, they also say buyers will want larger homes equipped with home offices moving forward. Stay-at-home orders quickly emphasized the need for more space while stuck at home, and panelists think more space will be a determining feature for future home-buyers.

Even with lower sales volumes compared to 2019, the U.S. housing market has shown resilience during the pandemic and has already begun to rebound. Pending sales are up 40.8% in the past month, and new home sales in April were up 0.6% from March.

Year      Average Home Value Growth Expectations – Q1 2020 Survey Average Home Value Growth Expectations – Q2 2020 Survey
2020 3.3% -0.3%
2021 2.7% 0.9%
2022 2.7% 2.9%
2023 3.0% 3.3%



This edition of the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey surveyed 106 experts between April 28, 2020 and May 15, 2020. The survey was conducted by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc. The Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey and any related materials are available through Zillow and Pulsenomics.

NextHome opens newest brokerage in Northern Virginia

NextHome opens newest brokerage in Northern Virginia

Michelle Hale

Pleasanton, CA — May 21, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome NOVA Realty, based in Warrenton, Virginia. The brokerage represents the 11th office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise and the 474th NextHome office opened nationally.

The brokerage will offer cutting-edge real estate marketing and technology to 13 counties across Northern Virginia. NextHome NOVA Realty provides buying and selling service to clients in Fauquier, Culpeper, Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Orange, Madison, Rappahannock, Warren, Clarke, and Frederick counties. 

Located just 45 miles west of Washington D.C., Warrenton is four-square miles brimming with small-town charm. The area attracts residential investors, retirees, and professionals relocating for work with Government contractors or one of the many military facilities, like the Marine Corps Base in Quantico. Warrenton is also attractive for buyers seeking prime equestrian properties. Under the leadership of owner Michelle Hale, NextHome NOVA Realty offers expertise in all these types of real estate transactions – and more. 

Michelle will be NextHome NOVA Realty’s broker of record and owns the franchise alongside her husband, Mark Hale.

Michelle delved into real estate in 2002. Prior to becoming a full-time REALTOR®, Michelle worked in information technology, specializing in databases and end-user applications. 

After obtaining her license, Michelle built a reputation for compassionate client care and service that went above and beyond expectations. Michelle studied architecture and interior design in college and has been the general contractor for two of her own personal residences.

“When I’m looking at new construction, I’m able to clarify anything clients may have questions about,” Michelle said. “When it comes to home inspections, I can also explain things that the average agent might not catch.”

Michelle started her real estate career with Long & Foster, but spent most of the past decade in the business with Century 21 New Millennium in Gainesville.

Eventually, Michelle recognized that in order to continue exceeding her client’s expectations, she needed to take her technology offerings to the next level. 

“As I looked around at my options, other firms didn’t seem to have the tools or eye-catching marketing that is so important to me,” Michelle said. “So, when I stumbled across NextHome, the marketing and technology really caught my attention; the colors, Luke, it all just spoke to me.”

Today, Michelle is building a brokerage where high-quality agents can feel truly supported, can have access to plug-and-play marketing, and receive ethical compensation. 

“I wanted to run a brokerage where agents could see the value of being a NextHome agent,” Michelle said. 

As a top-producing agent, Michelle understood the pain point of getting beautiful marketing produced quickly. That’s why NextHome’s ability to build almost-immediate marketing packages was so attractive. 

In addition to its cutting-edge technology offerings, NextHome NOVA Realty is making a difference for area clients through Michelle’s compassionate leadership and approach to sales. 

“Once clients work with me, they find I am very easy to talk to,” Michelle said. “I think a big part of how I operate is that I can absorb the stress of buying or selling a home so that my clients don’t have as much to worry about. I have a way of creating calm in an otherwise stressful situation.”

Outside of real estate, Michelle enjoys serving in her community. Michelle serves on the Board of Directors for the Fauquier Habitat for Humanity – a position she has held since 2013 minus a one year pause. Her passion for Habitat for Humanity’s work extends into how she runs her business – a portion of every transaction her firm closes goes directly to the organization. 

In addition, Michelle enjoys working with local animal rescues to find forever homes for abandoned dogs, two of which are now members of their family.  

Michelle and Mark have been married since 1992 and together they have two adult daughters. Mark recently retired from commercial construction management and served as an Aviator in the US Army.  

Together, Michelle and Mark enjoy traveling, hiking, and playing golf. 

Please join us in congratulating Michelle and Mark on the opening of NextHome NOVA Realty in Warrenton, Virginia!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

The Marathon No One Signed Up For

The Marathon No One Signed Up For

Step, step, step, breathe. Step, step, step breathe. Step, step, step, breathe.

This is the rhythmic pace of running. After a while it becomes almost hypnotic as one’s mind drifts from thought to thought only to be interrupted by some sort of discomfort or pain.

Step, step, step, breathe. Step, step, step breathe.

As a runner and prior track cross country and 4-minute mile runner (in High School average pace was 4:08 – 4:12, undefeated for three years), I assure you this is the breathing pattern, I was trained. As were my friends who are runners like Ed Deutschlander, CLU®, CLF & CEO of North Star Resource Group (who gave me the inspiration for this message recently.) Ask any long-distance runner and they will tell you the mind games are simply part of long distance running and we all have to find a way to overcome them to finish. We must force our self to go back to our own pace and remember to step, step, step breathe.

Most of us can relate to this as we are all finding our new cadence and routine. Shelter-in-place and work from home have been going on for months now. Similar to a marathon, the initial few weeks flew by both figuratively and literally. The beginning of a marathon provides a shot of adrenaline to runners, seducing them into a more hurried pace than their training was. Before long, a good part of the race is over and now a different reality enters. But to finish the race they must fall into their own pace and stride, and keep that step, step, step, breathe rhythm. They must learn to shut off the negative thoughts of “this is too hard, this is too long, my body feels a pain, I am not sure I can finish.” On my long runs, now normally 5-7 miles, I must still go through the routine of step, step, step breathe, brain stop thinking of negative things, let’s sing a song, let’s think about goals, what do I need to get done this week, wow look at that view, what’s that down there in the distance, if I make it to that sign, I am a champion, and the list goes on of the mind games I play to keep my pace and finish my run.

Step, step, step, breathe.

This is a marathon no one signed up to run. This is also a marathon where the mile markers and finish line are neither distinguishable nor discernible. Yet as this race continues, glancing at our fellow “runners,” we may find solace in that we are all having the same experience and going through the same emotional roller coaster.

Step, step, step, breathe.

As we navigate this marker-less course the challenges increase. Mentally it is taking a toll. The voice inside of our head was mute at first as we burned through the initial wave of endorphins. That voice is slowly becoming a kettle drum and each step, each day, we not only hear but feel the vibrations coming off of the large drum being struck with every step we take.

Step, step, step, breathe.

In the world of running, what we are experiencing is known as, “The WALL.”

It is a sudden wave of extreme fatigue coupled with some doubts and fears that creep in and are amplified when one is under long periods of prolonged energy exertion and stress. It is when all “pre-race” plans go out the window.

This is a race where the “wall” can’t be avoided. The reason is because this is a race that no one ever trained to run. What we are going through has never occurred in any of our lifetimes. The phrase, “times like this” really don’t apply. There have not been “times like this.”

Some of us have hit the wall, the rest of us will hit the wall at some point.

Having run numerous marathons and half marathons there are several key lessons that will help us through this tough stretch:


Even though it may seem there is not an end in sight, there is an end to every race. I have never run a race in which I did not know where or could not see the finish line at the beginning of the race. The finish line usually appears only at the very end of the race, but we always knew where it was or how long it was to get to the finish line. One will run perhaps 5 miles, 10 miles, or 26 miles, but eventually will be able to see the finish line the last few hundred meters. What enables the runner to carry on is knowing there is a finish line. This too has a finish line. It most likely isn’t around the next corner but one needs faith to know that a finish line is ahead and will be crossed.


Every runner and marathoner has a reason why they are running the race. The reasons vary for as many runners as there are, but there is a reason someone elected to endure the difficult task of running a marathon. This is no different. All of us have our reasons for our careers. We all have responsibilities, obligations, goals, commitments, promises, role-modeling and a host of many other important reasons as to why we do what we do.

In challenging times, it becomes even more important to draw, focus and reflect on these priorities and values, in essence our “WHY,” to keep us as strong as possible when fatigue sets in and makes us more vulnerable to not finishing the race.

What is your “WHY?” What is going to pull you through? What is your win going to be from this experience? Focus on the person you will be at the end of the race and how much better you will be for completing this race. Don’t focus on the temporary pain or setbacks that are inevitable with any growing and worthwhile endeavor. STAYING POSITIVE during this fragile stage of the race is imperative and makes all the difference.


The most important part when “hitting the wall” is simply to keep moving. Don’t stop. If you must walk a bit, go through the “water station” slowly and have an extra cup of water, but the key at this stage is to “keep those legs moving.”

Just as we started this journey together with the cadence of step, step, step breathe, it is that same cadence that will have us cross the finish line together. I don’t know many people who run marathons in isolation. It is easier and better to run with others. Support is what pulls one through, and the continued support of the entire Gateway Leadership and Administration will have us all collecting the finisher medals of this race.

Yes, this is the marathon no one signed up for, but when I look at my life there have been many “races” I didn’t sign up for, and I know the same is true for ALL of YOU. Yet I crossed every one of those finish lines a better, stronger and more capable person. I know it also has been the same for you. This race will be no different in that regard, we didn’t sign up for it, we didn’t train for it, yet we will finish it and be the better for it.

So let’s keep taking our steps and breathing.

Step, step, step, breathe.

Shane Westhoelter, AEP, CLU, LUTCF
Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc

For more helpful advice from our partners at Gateway Insurance Group, Inc. click here.

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
NextHome Navigator becomes first brick-and-mortar brokerage in Tiffin, Iowa

NextHome Navigator becomes first brick-and-mortar brokerage in Tiffin, Iowa

Jeff Tackaberry

Pleasanton, CA — May 14, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Navigator, based in Tiffin, Iowa. The brokerage represents the sixth office location opened in Iowa for the NextHome franchise and the 471st NextHome office opened nationally.

NextHome Navigator also represents a milestone for the city of Tiffin real estate industry – it is the first brick-and-mortar brokerage to open in the fast-growing community. 

Tiffin offers the best of small-town living with a 15-minute commute into Iowa City and a 30-minute commute into Cedar Rapids. From this vantage point, NextHome Navigator will serve clients up and down the Interstate 380 corridor between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. The brokerage’s service areas include Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Linn, and Washington counties.

NextHome Navigator is owned by Jeff Tackaberry. Jeff is bringing more than 17 years of experience to area buyers and sellers. Although Jeff finds working with first-time homebuyers exceptionally rewarding, he is also experienced in relocations and upward mobility clients. 

Jeff began his real estate career in 2003 in Iowa City. Over 17 years, Jeff has worked with two nationally recognized brands and two large locally recognized brands. During his time at Iowa Realty, he became a top producer in the Iowa City company. Later he worked with Skogman Realty. 

“During my time at these larger companies, I began to dream about a more personal brokerage where management was firmly grounded in real estate experience and a place where new agents receive the personal mentoring they crave,” Jeff said.

He learned that bigger is definitely not better. Most importantly, it was during those years that he began to lay the groundwork for the creation of a relationship-based business where people come before profit. 

“Being a top producer was a wonderful accomplishment,” Jeff said. “But in the end, what I’ve always been driven by is the ability to serve folks and do good business for them. The people I serve are truly my greatest motivating force. Helping folks effectively navigate the housing market is my focus. The name “NextHome Navigator” was inspired by the desire to do just that.

“I know that there are many young agents in the area who could benefit from closer mentoring relationships with experienced agents and a broker willing to give them the time and attention they need,” Jeff said. “I saw an opportunity to create a management culture that could truly build service-minded agents – and that is the legacy I want to build in Tiffin.”

As he began researching opportunities, he stumbled across NextHome. The franchise stood out among other options. 

“Despite their good intentions to serve well, it seemed to me like other franchises I looked into got lost in bureaucracy and their own organization,” Jeff said. “In the end, the agent, and how well that agent is supported, will determine how well the client is served. NextHome was the perfect partner to build a supportive, relationship-based brokerage.”

“I really believe that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” Jeff said. “If you aren’t serving your agents and your clients with compassion and understanding, then those agents and clients will easily see through the fallacies of your business model. If you genuinely take care of people, that’s good business.”

When he isn’t building his brokerage or supporting his agents, Jeff is active in his community. He is often found working to give back to the community in service as a Clear Creek Amana School District Board Member. 

Jeff and his wife Amy have been married for 28 years and together they have three daughters. Jenna (Smith) is a music teacher in North Carolina, Mikayla is a Sophomore at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, and Haley will be starting her senior year of high school this fall. To add even more excitement to the family, they enjoy their two Golden Doodles; Wrigley, a 105-pound gentle giant, and Marley, a sweet new pup they recently welcomed into their home.

Please join us in congratulating Jeff on the opening of NextHome Navigator in Tiffin, Iowa!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.